US aircraft on Oct. 2 had the busiest day in the two-month-long fight against ISIS in Libya, conducting 20 airstrikes on dozens of enemy positions around Sirte. The strikes hit 71 ISIS fighting positions, along with vehicle-borne improvised explosive device facilities and supply locations, US Africa Command announced. The barrage brings the total number of strikes conducted during Operation Odyssey Lightning since it kicked off on Aug. 1 to 201. US forces, including US Marine Corps Harriers and Air Force remotely piloted aircraft, have been supporting Libyan Government of National Accord troops in their attempt to clear the city of ISIS fighters. GNA troops over the weekend fought off an ambush by ISIS and lost eight soldiers, according to Reuters.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.